Self-Love: The Ultimate Valentine
It’s Valentine’s Day and that means I get to celebrate loving………ME!
Just to be clear — self-love isn’t the same as narcissism. Narcissists try to sustain an image of perfection to compensate for deep feelings of insecurity. Their feelings of self-love and self-worth depend on receiving admiration and appreciation from others, rather than on cultivating confidence and pride from within.
True self-love is about caring for and respecting yourself, taking responsibility for yourself, and being able to appreciate yourself.
In his book, The Art of Loving, psychologist Erich Fromm argues that in order to truly love another person, you must first love yourself. This goes along with the ScreamFree principle that, as parents, we need to take care of ourselves so we can then take care of our kids.
Many of us put our lives on hold after we have kids. We’re so busy making sure their needs are being met that we neglect our own. And after years of continually ignoring ourselves, we can end up feeling empty, discouraged, and resentful.
Besides putting our own needs last, a lot of us tend to engage in constant negative self-talk, telling ourselves that we’re not good enough and beating ourselves up for making mistakes. We may not give ourselves credit for the things we do well or value our own efforts.
Or, as Christine Arylo (self-proclaimed Queen of Self-Love) says: “Be nice to yourself. It’s hard to be happy when someone is mean to you all the time.”
This Valentine’s Day, I invite you to join me in practicing self-love. Here are five ways to do it:
Be kind to yourself
Notice your self-talk and the constant commentary that’s running in your head. Whenever you recognize that your inner critic has taken over, kindly interrupt her and tell her to leave. Then, tell yourself some more accurate and positive thoughts. Since motherhood can often be a thankless job, give yourself credit for the things you do well. (It ain’t braggin’ if it’s true!)
For more on countering negative self-talk, read:
What Are You Thinking? How Your Thoughts Create Your Experience
Do You Expect Too Much From Yourself As a Parent?
Changing Your Negative Self-Talk
Trust Your inner wisdom
I know so many moms (myself included) who second-guess themselves and ignore their intuition. Part of loving yourself is being able to trust yourself and know that whatever happens, you can handle it. When faced with a difficult decision or when you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a few deep breaths and get quiet. Then ask yourself, “What does my inner wisdom know?” Listen to the answer.
For more on trusting yourself, read:
Don’t Worry, You Can Handle It
How to Tune Out All the Parenting Advice and Trust Your Intuition.
Take care of yourself
Show yourself love by moving your body, nourishing it with healthy food, getting enough sleep, and playing.
For more about self-care, read:
Take a bubble bath, drink a glass of Malbec or Moscato, buy yourself a pretty bouquet, eat a slice of decadent chocolate cake and savor it, treat yourself to a new piece of jewelry or a much-needed massage. You’re worth it and you deserve it.
For more ideas on taking time for yourself, read:
Making Time for the Alone Zone
Loving yourself also means knowing your limitations and asking for help when you need it. Support can come in many different forms – friends, relatives, babysitters, doctors, energy healers, coaches, house cleaners, professional organizers, financial planners….
Identify the area in your life where you need the most support right now and seek it out.
For more on getting support, read:
New Year, New Friends: Making the First Move
This Valentine’s Day, I think I’ll surprise myself with fresh flowers, read a good book, and treat myself to dinner at a favorite restaurant.
How will you show yourself the love this Valentine’s Day? Tell me in the comments below.
Need individualized help to feel self-love? Sign up for a FREE mini-session here.
This was much needed advice without judgment just when I needed it most.
You’re so welcome! Happy Valentine’s Day!
I’m proud of you for not letting this upcoming “holiday” scare you! I was excited to not stress about it once my ex and I broke up because he REFUSED to celebrate it. So the year that I was single, I made homemade valentines for my friends and mom! I wore as much pink & red as I could the entire week before! I indulged in delicious chocolate…I lived it up! So enjoy setting a good example to your daughters that Valentine’s Day is about telling people in your life that you love them (guys & gals), not just for men to make a woman feel she is worth something.
Right on, Tiffany! Keep on loving yourself and living it up over there 🙂
What an utterly beautiful post Pam!
So many great resources here. You’ve inspired to to run a candle lit bath. It’s one of my favourite self care acts of love. Bath, journal writing session and early to bed.
Love the Christine Arylo quote too! Happy Valentines Day you strong lovely woman. xx
Thanks, Kelly! Sounds like you have an amazing evening ahead of you. Happy Valentine’s Day to you, too!